Depression: How Hypnosis HelpsGreg Thompson
Some cases of depression have primarily biological roots. Some are strictly psychological. Most are a mix of the two.
Serious mood disturbances such as bipolar disorder have genetic causes and tend to be treated with drugs. Mood swings, however, that are not severe enough to justify a bipolar diagnosis, can still create problems for people. When those mood swings are rare, and not too intense, you can usually just ride them out, because you know they will end, and life will get back to normal.
On the other hand, if those swings are severe, and last long enough, they can interfere with life. They make it hard to get up in the morning. They get in the way of work. They may trigger excessive drinking, or abuse of other drugs. Then you need help.
In these cases, although the problem may have a biological basis, a skilled hypnotherapist can make a difference. For instance, you can be taught how to use self-hypnosis, and the trance state itself is a mood-altering tool, one that is more powerful than a drug. You simply cannot feel bad when you are in a trance. In addition, hypnosis can be used to instill positive, ego-boosting suggestions that will stay with you permanently.
More important for most people, the primary triggers of depression are not biological but emotional and psychological—tied to such things as life history, family learning, and social isolation. People get depressed because life has knocked them down repeatedly, and sooner or later they can’t get up again. Even with things like depression during or after pregnancy, while hormones may play a part, the big problem is usually psychological. The mom-to-be is afraid of failure, and the new mother is overwhelmed by the added responsibilities, and often has no support.
In other cases, people are depressed because they were taught to be. They may have grown up, for instance, with abusive parents whose constant message was, “You’re a loser.” Little kids can’t tell what’s true from what’s not true. What they are told is what they believe, and that can become a destructive reality later in life. Hypnotherapy is a powerful tool for creating a new, positive self-image.
Depressed people are frequently socially isolated. They avoid people because they don’t think people like them. Isolation leads to depression, which leads to more withdrawal and traps them in a vicious circle of loneliness, social avoidance and depression. Hypnosis is a potent tool for breaking out of that trap.
Depression is often tied to unresolved past trauma. Hypnotherapy offers a way of going back into the past and resolving the injury.
Hypnotherapists have been working for decades to develop strategies for dealing with depression. Hypnotherapy helps strengthen ego and self-esteem. It can break through social isolation and fear of contact. It can be used to resolve old trauma.
Best of all, the only side-effect is feeling good about yourself.